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With Boehner Squeezed, Pelosi, Reid, Obama Unified on Shutdown Strategy

Boehner, left, is fending off a coup attempt while Obama and top Democrats are closing ranks on an appropriations strategy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Republicans are splintering into factions and debating the merits of another shutdown fight and yet another coup attempt against Speaker John A. Boehner, Democratic leaders put forward a united front Thursday after huddling with President Barack Obama for an hour and a half.  

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., laid out their demands to reporters late Thursday outside the West Wing. The duo pushed for a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open without riders and with any additional funding equally divided between defense and non-defense programs "dollar for dollar."  

All three top Democrats are committed to block any Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, and Reid went out of his way to praise Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for showing a willingness to negotiate higher spending caps and a clean CR.  

The House, however, is a different story, with a faction of Republicans eyeing another attempt to replace Boehner should he, as expected, end up going along in the end with a CR that allows Planned Parenthood to keep its roughly $500 million in funding.  

Some conservative Republicans have predicted that Boehner would need the support of Democrats to survive a motion to vacate the chair. Shortly after leaving the White House, Pelosi met with Boehner in the speaker's office for about 20 minutes, according to an aide.  

But before that meeting, when CQ Roll Call asked if she would consider helping save Boehner's speakership on that vote if that helps him keep the government open, Pelosi smiled and demurred.  

"Is he talking politics here right in front of the White House?" Pelosi asked. "I don't have any comment on that."  

Emma Dumain contributed to this report.

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